Envy Of The Gods: Alexander The Great's Ill-fated Journey Across Asia

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9780306812682: Envy Of The Gods: Alexander The Great's Ill-fated Journey Across Asia

Alexander the Great accomplished more than any ordinary human could even hope to dream, yet at the end of his life, his empire, his army, and even his own life were unraveling. While the world knows well how the Macedonian king conquered the Persian Empire, few people know the full story of his decline and fall as he sought to bring the most remote areas of the Persian empire under his control. Alexander was a complicated mix of ruthless tyrant and incurable romantic. This schizophrenic interplay of conflicting psychic forces characterized his rise to power and was largely responsible for his downfall. In the last seven years of his life, Alexander the Great grew increasingly unpredictable, sporadically violent, megalomaniacal, and suspicious of friends as well as enemies. In the end Alexander the Great was not defeated by any external enemy but by himself. John Prevas brings this riveting story of the fall of Alexander to life with a compelling narrative informed by his personal retracing of much of the route trod by Alexander through what is now Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

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About the Author:

John Prevas, writer and adventurer, holds degrees in history, political science, psychology, and forensics and has taught the classics for the last fifteen years. He is the author of Hannibal Crosses the Alps and Xenophon's March . He lives in Florida.

From Publishers Weekly:

Once Alexander the Great had conquered the Mediterranean world, he turned his eyes eastward to Asia in what historian Prevas terms a "pathological compulsion" to expand his power. In a rather pedantic and workmanlike account, Prevas, who retraced Alexander's footsteps to Asia, examines this chapter of the Macedonian conqueror's life. According to Prevas (Hannibal Crosses the Alps), Alexander exhibited a dark side that his biographers rarely account for. Prey to a megalomaniac desire to rule the world unrestrained by self-control, Alexander thought of himself as divine and expected his constituents and armies to worship him as well as obey his commands, however unreasonable. Prevas recounts Alexander's unstoppable drive to conquer Persepolis in Persia and avenge his father's death, which he attributed to Darius, destroying monuments, statues, every vestige of Persian culture. In India, when his army demanded to return home, Alexander instead marched them through the Gedrosian Desert, one of the most brutal places on earth. By the time he returned to Babylon, Alexander had lost the respect of his followers, and many scholars speculate that he met his death at the hands of one of his governors. Prevas's straightforward account of these exploits reveals no new information about the ruler; readers will do better with Paul Cartledge's new Alexander the Great. 16 pages of b&w illus., maps.
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